Tamerlane and Geghard Monastery – The Legend of the Spear of Destiny

Tamerlane and Geghard MonasteryA 14th-century Turco-Mongol conqueror Tamerlane has achieved outstanding military success, conquering vast territories. However, he was yet to conquer Armenia. And thereby, he decided to invade this country of mountains.

Upon arriving at the Garni Gorge, Tamerlane ordered to set up a camp and sent scouts to investigate the surroundings. In the morning, one of the scouts told him about a nearby Christian temple carved out from a mountain. This temple safeguarded the Holy Lance, the spear that pierced the side of Jesus as he hung on the cross. “The Spear was brought there by Apostles Thaddeus and Bartholomew, the founders of the Armenian Church,” reported the informant, “It is a relic of the Christians: they believe that the Spear can do wonders.”

Tamerlane didn’t trust the word of the informant and gathered a squad to march towards Geghard Monastery. As his unit approached the temple, Tamerlane noticed clouds and lightning in the sky, heard thunder, and sensed the trembling of the land under his feet. When the soldiers broke into the temple, heavy rain began to pour down onto the earth.

At the sight of the Holy Lance, the soldiers came to a stop immediately. Attempting to view the saint relic, soldiers from the rear rows headed forward in hustle, eventually being likewise nailed down to their places. Many soldiers were wounded, with some of them going blind.

The sight of the soldiers frightened Tamerlane. The ruler of Asia, the emir of the East, and the leader of a vast kingdom suddenly forgot about his mission and fell to his knees to read a prayer.

The next day, Tamerlane ordered his men to transport a plurality of his stolen precious gifts and leave them there. Then, he gathered his soldiers and lead them out of the temple, away from the devastating power of the Holy Spear.


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